A system, especially a computer system, that is constituted of poorly matched elements or of elements originally intended for other applications.
A clumsy or inelegant solution to a problem.
Also spelled "kluge" and pronounced "klooj." A crude, inelegant system, component or program. It may refer to a makeshift, temporary solution to a problem as well as to any product that is poorly designed or that becomes unwieldy over time.
(computing) An amalgamated mass of totally unrelated parts forming a distressing whole [from the Datamation article mentioned in the Usage Note below].
To build or use a kludge.
Origin of kludge
- Probably alteration of mid-20th century American military slang kluge complex device with a simple function perhaps of imitative origin or perhaps after the Kluge (paper feeder) a piece of printing equipment first manufactured in 1919 by Brandtjen & Kluge, Inc., and reputedly difficult to repair
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- Cf. German Klōß, diminutive Klößchen "clod", Low Saxon klut, klute, Dutch kluit, perhaps related to Low German diminutive klütje "dumpling, clod", Danish Jutland dial. klyt "piece of bad workmanship, kludge", and Standard Danish kludder "mess, disorder". If so, related to klutz.
- There is evidence that kluge was once a separate word with similar meaning but separate derivation, but the spelling kludge was widely popularized in the U.S. by a 1962 Datamation article, “How to Design a Kludge”.